Nuclear Science and Engineering Undergraduate Scholarship

About the scholarship

The Defence Nuclear Science and Engineering Undergraduate Scholarships are aimed at encouraging high-performing STEM students to continue their studies in disciplines relevant to nuclear science and engineering.

The Commonwealth, through the Department of Defence, will provide a number of scholarships, each for a maximum period of three years. The number of scholarships in each year depends on the calibre of candidates.

Multiple scholarships will be awarded to applicants who can demonstrate strong academic results in STEM study areas of nuclear science and engineering, and have an interest in a career in Defence. Factors such as STEM outreach and community leadership and involvement, will also be considered in the application process.

Eligible students must be Australian citizens who are studying at an undergraduate level, with up to four more full-time years of study in their degree program, which can include Honours or Masters pathways.


  • Financial support of $20,000 per annum for up to four years of full-time study.
  • A fellowship program with Defence.
  • A placement with Defence during the course of the scholarship.
  • Mentoring from a Defence based mentor who can provide career and study advice.


The scholarship has a value of $20,000 per student per annum. The university will pay the student a $10,000 payment bi-annually at the beginning of each semester for up to four years.

Students will be responsible for direct payment of all university fees. Students are also responsible for the costs of books, study materials, accommodation and all other costs of study.


The scholarship is payable for a maximum of four years on a full-time basis, unless otherwise approved by the Department of Defence.


Successful candidates may be required to undertake work on and be provided with technical information pertaining to defence articles subject to third party restrictions or limitations.

To ensure compliance with third party restrictions and conditions, any applicant who holds, or has previously held, citizenship or permanent residency of a country other than Australia will be required to declare and indicate the country or countries of citizenship or permanent residency in their application.

Restrictions imposed by third parties on access to defence articles and associated technical data by dual national employees will apply.

  • Applicant is studying a STEM degree in the following disciplines relevant to nuclear science and engineering, including but not limited to:
    • advanced manufacturing
    • aerospace engineering
    • electrical and electronic engineering
    • mechanical engineering
    • marine engineering
    • naval architecture
    • nuclear physics
    • high performance computational physics
    • marine science.
  • Applicant is studying at an undergraduate level, with up to four more years of full-time study in their degree program, which can include Honours or Masters pathways.
  • Applicant has a GPA of 5.0 or higher.
  • Applicant is an Australian citizen.
  • Applicant is not holding a scholarship related to Defence nuclear science and engineering concurrently.
  • Applicant is not currently employed with the Department of Defence through the Australian Public Service, Australian Defence Force or another contracting arrangement.
  • Applicant must be able to hold and maintain either a baseline, negative vetting level 1, negative vetting level 2 or positive vetting security clearance.

Application and selection

Applications shall be called for each year with a closing date as set by Defence. Applications must be made directly to Defence via the online mechanism provided. Late applications will not be accepted.

Applicants will need to submit the following documents when applying for the scholarship:

  • A 500 word personal statement outlining academic achievements, career aspirations in the relevant area of study, and other relevant experience.
  • A 500 word outline of interest in the scholarship and associated future opportunities within the Department of Defence.
  • A CV outlining academic achievements, extra-curricular activities and community leadership experience.
  • A letter of recommendation from a university academic or other appropriate academic referee.
  • A recent copy of their university transcript.

The selection panel will consider the submissions from each applicant and award scholarships to outstanding candidates based on the following criteria:

  • Academic achievement. (five marks)
  • Relevance of study to Defence nuclear science and engineering and interest in a career in Defence or related industries. (five marks)
  • Community leadership and involvement in extra-curricular activities. (five marks)

Persons who identify as women and/or Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders are encouraged to apply.

Applications will be considered by a selection committee with various representatives from Defence, academia and/or industry. The selection committee will communicate details of the successful recipients to the delegated scholarships officer at their university, and all applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application by email.

The selection committee reserves the right to make no award or to award the scholarship at other times in exceptional circumstances if it considers there is no applicant of sufficient merit or that suits the requirements of Defence.